->''"ComicBook/LexLuthor had cameras everywhere. It didn't matter if Jayna was on the toilet or if Superman was 3 galaxies away enjoying a bowl of cereal, Lex Luthor could put it up on the big screen if he wanted."''
-->-- '''Creator/{{Seanbaby}}''', on ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends''.

The bad guys [[SinisterSurveillance have cameras everywhere]]. They probably also have OminousMultipleScreens to follow all those cameras. Like some even-more-sinister version of ''Series/BigBrother'', they always know exactly where the heroes are and what they're doing, even if there's no possible reason for them to be able to. It doesn't matter if they're [[SubspaceAnsible three galaxies away]] or [[SanDimasTime five thousand years in the past]], the villains can still find them. They can put anything that they want up on the big screen, making you wonder why they don't just give up on the bizarre plans for world domination and [[CutLexLuthorACheck just surreptitiously blackmail every government]] in the world without the good guys ever finding out. Or at least you would if you weren't so busy trying to puzzle out exactly how [[Comicbook/LexLuthor Luthor]] managed to get a live feed of the WesternAnimation/SuperFriends repairing satellites in outer space.

TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness will often make heavy use of this trope -- this trope is primarliy used to keep the villains and their [[ThePlan Plan]] up-to-date on the situation. Heroes or antagonists savvy to this will give them a PokeInTheThirdEye to escape detection.

Incidentally, magical versions of this trope ({{Crystal Ball}}s, {{Magic Mirror}}s, etc.) are a little ''more'' sensible, being one of those tropes that's [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief so unlikely]] that AWizardDidIt becomes the most plausible explanation.

See also BigBrotherIsWatching for the {{dystopia}}n version. Not to be confused with MagicalSecurityCam, which is when the surveillance footage is recycled from elsewhere in the show.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The new ''LightNovel/AiNoKusabi'' OVA shows that Iason has surveillance cameras all over Eos watching Riki where ever he goes.
* L from ''Manga/DeathNote'' likes this trope, [[spoiler:so do Mello and Near]] and is often seen watching OminousMultipleScreens. At one point L put 64 cameras in his suspect's room only to take them out again later.
* The Digimon Kaiser in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02''. One of the standby jokes in any CrackFic involved him being caught aiming the camera in [[MaleGaze odd directions]]...
* ''Anime/DragonQuestLegendOfTheHeroAbel'' has Baramos monitoring the heroes' progress through magic, using the eyes of his many minions.
* [=MakubeX=] in ''Anime/GetBackers'' while inside his tower.
* Briefly appears in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' for a single episode: Tymilph has a wall of screens, displaying various things. [[MaleGaze Including one camera aimed directly at Kiyoh's breasts.]]
* In ''Anime/DemashitaPowerpuffGirlsZ'', Professor Utonium has a screen in his lab that can show any spot in the city, no matter how little sense it makes for him to view anything there. Mojo Jojo, [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls unlike in the original]], does not.
* ''Manga/SoulEater'' has Arachne using her spiders as spies to track enemy movement. Even to the point of semi-omniscience, which she demonstrates by telling Maka & Soul that Soul is the one who burnt their curry the previous night, because he left it on too long. So, apparently, she's either an excellent multitasker, or she just likes watching people do mundane things.
* The power of Hermit Purple, Joseph Joestar's Stand in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure''. He can summon pictures of where a person is by destroying a camera, and can read the future by adjusting a television set (it manifests as people on random TV channels saying words that link into a proper sentence). Dio Brando has the same power due to having the body of Jonathan Joestar (Joseph's grandfather).
* In ''Anime/SDGundamForce'', clips from past episodes are used as in-universe footage of those events. No explanation is made of this. The Zako Soldiers are the biggest offenders, as they had clips from episodes where there were nowhere to be found.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Played with in an issue of ''Franchise/TheFlash'', where the Mirror Master finds a PocketDimension in which he can see through all the mirrors in the world. However, with millions of mirrors to choose from, he can't find the one he's ''looking'' for. [[spoiler:This turns out to be not quite right, though; the woman he's seeking has removed all reflective surfaces from her house.]]
* In keeping with his theme of knowing everything, Metron of the Comicbook/NewGods has been shown to have a corridor full of "datalinks" (which are really just TV screens) showing information from all across the universe. Even Highfather is shocked by the things he sees Metron is able to spy on.
* Justified in ''ComicBook/AgentsOfAtlas'', where their opponent has [[spoiler:a video link to their robot team member, allowing him to always have a camera where they are.]]
* In the graphic novel ''Lucifer'' the title character once flies to the "Aleph Point" which seems to serve this exact function. Given the Norse mythological overtones the series has later on it's not unlikely the reference to Hlidskjalf is intentional.
** In a ''Swamp Thing'' story, the aforementioned Metron attempts to breach the Source Wall, and sees thousands of events simultaneously across the universe. He later learns that this was actually an "Aleph Point".
* Mocked by [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] in his [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/linkara/at4w/11957-koolaid01 Kool-Aid Man #1 review]]:
** There Kool-Aid man is able to bring up a camera shot of some "Thirsties" bothering some children even though he shouldn't be able to switch to footage of this, relating Kool-Aid Man to [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Big Brother]].
-->"''The Kool-Aid Man sees you when you're sleeping. *leans in close to camera* The Kool-Aid Man sees you in your nightmares.''"
** He actually did this joke before with Creator/MrT as well.
* ''ComicBook/NewAvengers2015:'' The Maker infects the team with nanocameras when they first run into some his super-science experiments. Since they breed, he becomes able to spy on the team any time he wishes (except when they're on the toilet. He has minions for ''that''). [[spoiler:Then it gets turned on its head when Roberto reveals AIM had known all along thanks to POD's powers.]]
* In Civil War II, Captain Marvel and Gamora discuss keeping Thanos prisoner on Earth, and some random dude [[SocialMediaBeforeReason films it on his cell phone and shares it]]. Somehow, Anihilus intercepts that (despite being some galaxies away), and starts to make related plans with the Brood queen.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* A RunningGag in ''Fanfic/NobodyDies'' is the fact that Yui knows everything that happens in Tokyo-3. ''Everything.''
-->'''Shinji''': Mom, please tell me you don't have cameras in Misato's bathroom.
-->'''Yui''': I have cameras ''everywhere''.
* Humorously invoked in ''Fanfic/HogyokuExMachina'', where Unohana is particularly disturbed to learn that Mayuri installed surveillance devices in Ichigo's hospital room long before his arrival in Soul Society, claiming that it was a "necessary precaution".
* In ''Fanfic/TheStarsAscendant'', Luna and Celestia use the images in the starry realm of ascension to review Twilight Sparkle's battle with Tirek.
* ''Fanfic/SupperSmashBrosMishonhFromGod'' gives this to Sara, thanks to the villains holding the IdiotBall. Basically, the villains main hideout has security cameras in it, and the camera feed is conveniently located in the Smash Mansion for Sara to watch, and learn their plans. Later on, we see [[MissionControl Sara's ally Tiffany]] using the Home Depot website during an assault on one Home Depot store. The website apparently functions as a radar, since it's said to have a map of that particular store, as well as tracking the location of Sara, and showing which way the 'lesbans' are coming from.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* Jafar from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' is shown watching Aladdin in some sort of crystal ball.
* The high whippet, Annabelle, in ''WesternAnimation/AllDogsGoToHeaven'' can appear on surfaces like glass and liquids such as puddles.
* [[TheAlcatraz Sunnyside Day Care Center]] in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' has more surveillance cameras than [[Series/{{Smallville}} the Luthor mansion]].

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* Parodied in ''Film/BlazingSaddles'', where the villain goes into a movie theater to escape the hero, sits down, and sees the hero coming into the theater on the screen.
* ''Film/TheBourneUltimatum''. Combined with EverythingIsOnline, this takes things to ridiculous levels.
* The skeksis of ''Film/TheDarkCrystal'' have spying creatures called crystal bats, whose bodies appear to be lenses; the images picked up by these lenses can be seen through the eponymous crystal.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnight'':
** Batman has this. He [[spoiler:hacks all the cell phones in the city to act as sonar-esque devices which all report to a central hub, giving him real-time, 3D, audio and video of nearly ''all of Gotham City''.]]
** Surveillance was used in a much worse fashion in ''Film/BatmanAndRobin''. Incriminating speeches made by the villains were sometimes replayed using ''the same shot that was used earlier in the movie, surveillance-free!''
* The main villain of ''Film/EagleEye'' apparently has the ability to spy on anyone she cares to, including closely monitoring our heroes to ensure that they enact her plans. [[spoiler:As it turns out, she's a super-computer that the government has built for spying, and her hijacking of various cameras was justified by the DHS having forced the companies to include back doors.]]
* Victor von Doom apparently has surveillance of the Baxter Building in ''Film/FantasticFour2005''. It's never explained how.
* ''Film/OtherHalves'': It's pretty lucky there were surveillance cameras in the ''locker room'', or Elle might not have figured out who ThePeepingTom was.
* Parodied in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', where the bad guys track down the heroes using a VHS tape of the film itself.
* In ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'', two scenes where Film/JamesBond follows the action through TV screens might bring FridgeLogic. In one, the car television shows a helicopter throwing a car in the middle of the sea - ''from above'' - and Blofeld's ship engulfing the American one ''in space''.
* ''Film/EnemyOfTheState'' zig-zags with it like crazy. Satellite surveillance needs time to get in position and cannot record the face of a man that isn't looking straight up (even after the film had showcased some pretty impressive uses of the EnhanceButton earlier) in one scene, on one that follows shortly afterwards it takes many men to maintain constant line of sight of a conversation that the villains want to overhear, and later on a satellite just happens to apparently always be orbiting over Philadelphia and is able to perfectly play back the travel of a single vehicle from someplace in the suburbs to an industrial park a great many miles away, information that is as easy to recall as giving the computer the coordinates and time from which the vehicle started to move.

* ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'':
** Stephen King's epic Dark Tower universe includes thirteen different-hued crystal balls of "the Wizard's Rainbow"--they can be used as typical crystal balls are, but each has a certain psychotic bent.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Some of the wizards at Unseen University own small pocket crystal balls that can be used to observe a specific location, although sometimes reception is bad. And lampshaded: An Omniscope, one of the most powerful magical devices, can technically show ''anything'' ''anywhere'' in the universe; the tricky problem is getting it to show you the specific thing at the correct place and correct time that you want (it's easier now that Hex, the magical computer at Unseen University, can crunch the numbers for you). Some wizards just set the lens of the Omniscope to the dark of infinite space and use it as a shaving mirror. In ''Discworld/GoingPostal'', two omniscopes were successfully linked for long-distance "video conference" communication purposes.
** This is the result of an accidental discovery Ponder Stibbons makes in ''Discworld/TheLastHero'', where his clumsiness reveals that one half of a broken omniscope automatically sees out the other half's POV.
** In ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'', the villain, an evil FairyGodmother, has a MagicMirror room that allows her to scry through any reflective surface on the disc. It's a bit AwesomeButImpractical, though, since she has no magical ability to locate what she wants to look at, so she has to essentially scroll through every reflective surface in a given area to find what she's looking for.
* ''The Light of Other Days'' by Creator/ArthurCClarke and Creator/StephenBaxter:
** The whole book is about the invention of a device that allows the user to look anywhere in the world they want; later on, the technology is discovered to be able to directly view events ''in the past''. The main focus of the novel is on how the world adapts to the fact that "privacy" literally has no meaning anymore, since you can be watched at any point in your life (and even things you've done in the past).
** It's implied that the Overlords in ''Literature/ChildhoodsEnd'' have similar technology, and that it contributed to the downfall of mass religion, as people got to see their religious figures in flesh.
** Creator/IsaacAsimov's short story "The Dead Past" covers similar ground.
* Creator/RobertLudlum's ''Literature/ThePrometheusDeception'' has a villain with this ''modus operandi''.
* In Creator/JRRTolkien's Middle-Earth:
** Some of the Valar have vast surveillance assets. When upon the holy mountain Taniquetil beside his spouse Varda, Manwë Súlimo could see anywhere in the world; likewise, when Varda was similarly situated, she could hear anywhere in the world. [[BigBad Melkor/Morgoth]] had a rather nasty variant; he set a chair atop the peak of Thangorodrim where he imprisoned Húrin, just so Húrin could see all of Morgoth's victories and the ruin of Húrin's own nation and family.
** Oddly, the Palantíri themselves seem to subvert this trope -- they were primarily designed for communication between the owners of the stones. However, they are not purely communication devices. Tolkien elaborates on how they can be used in one of the chapters in ''Unfinished Tales''. They have limited range, cannot see through things, and cannot look everywhere at once, but they can be used to view things in locations other than the rooms where other stones are kept.
*** Due to their limitations, Frodo famously slipped through the surveillance net to [[WalkIntoMordor get into]] {{Mordor}}. Sauron has to resort to more "mundane" methods of info gathering such as via his flying Nazgûl.
*** Additionally, one is actually used against Sauron: Aragorn uses the Palantír taken from Isengard to show Sauron that Isildur's heir is alive and challenging him. However, this is all just a ploy to keep Sauron's attention (and Palantír) pointed elsewhere while Sam and Frodo slip into {{Mordor}}.
*** Another was used by Denethor, who was apparently unaware of the limitations and had Sauron manipulating what he saw through it. This drove him to madness and almost led to the loss of Gondor.
*** The Numenoreans built a similar "Seat of Seeing" on the hilltop of Amon Hen. Frodo was able to see all the way to Minas Tirith and into Mordor from the stone seat there.
* In ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'', Merrin Meredith and later Simon Heap can use appropriately-name [[EvilLair The Observatory]] to spy out the Castle from safe distance.
* The ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''The Starship Trap'' involves the use of a dimensional vergence (a construct that touches every point in every universe simultaneously) as a weapon to eliminate starships, and thus war, from the galaxy. The crew uses surveillance of the vergence to spy on an alternate-universe Klingon ship to bluff it into leaving them alone while they try to use the vergence to return to their own universe.
* The protagonists in ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' have access to spy satellites and tiny remote cameras that can be placed just about any place on the planet. With Safehold stuck in MedievalStasis and having no concept of that technology, and no way to stop it if they did, this provides a massive advantage for the protagonists. Their biggest problems have been having so ''much'' information and needing to filter out what's important and the Church of God Awaiting, assuming they just have damnably good spies, working out blind spots in their surveillance & using lone agents to counter.
* ''Literature/VillainsByNecessity'': Mizzamir plays the Palantir Ploy throughout the book. It seems to work perfectly at first, but the presence of both Kaylana and Valeriana in the group causes it to only give him some vague glimpses of the villains' progress (Arcie also damaged his scrying font while prying gemstones out of it, thus reducing the font's power). Later, the protagonists get ahold of a {{magic mirror}} which allows them to remotely view Mizzamir, conveniently revealing [[spoiler: that Robin in his spy.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Averted by ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''. They have cameras and [=TVs=] but the existence of an internal security camera system on the ''Galactica'' would have solved many problems before they could expand into episode-length plots. The aversion is justified since the colonials are downright (and considering the RobotWar very [[ProperlyParanoid properly) paranoid]] about any computer networks. The more modern Pegasus ''has'' security cameras, making this one more way in which the Galactica shows [[BreakOutTheMuseumPiece just how old it is.]]
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', the Trio has cameras where they need them. How they pulled off planting that [[spoiler:gnome in Buffy's lawn]] is a question for the ages.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E12ArmyOfGhosts "Army of Ghosts"]]: Torchwood London was able to detect the Doctor messing with a ghost, find a public camera nearby ''and'' pipe the picture from it to a screen at their headquarters just in time to see the TARDIS dematerialize.
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E12TheSoundOfDrums "The Sound of Drums"]], the Master observes the Doctor, Jack and Martha on a public CCTV camera, while speaking to the Doctor on a mobile phone. While the camera's existence is perfectly plausible, the Master's ability to quickly gain access to the exact one our heroes are standing in front of is not, [[spoiler:even if he is the Prime Minister.]] [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Barring Fourth Tier Time Lord technology]], of course, [[WildMassGuessing though the episode doesn't say that]].
** "Sleep No More" has it look like this trope for quite some time only for it to turn out to be ''very'' important that what we thought was surveillance footage comes from angles where there couldn't possibly have been actual cameras.
** Not to mention, both Sarah Jane Smith and Harriet Jones both had their own secret global communications network (in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E13JourneysEnd "Journey's End"]]). Or the "magical" cell phones the Doctor is handing out to his companions these days, that use the TARDIS as a transtemporal relay station. Communications technology is the new plot shortcut.
%%* Megan of ''Series/DrakeAndJosh''.
* Granted, she's not a council, but disregarding that ''Series/GossipGirl'' fits this trope to a T.
* On ''Series/HenryDanger''. When Henry is blamed for causing Debbie to fall off of a roof of a building, he shows three high-quality pictures that [[ClearMyName proves he's innocent]] and [[spoiler:Piper did it by accident.]]
* In ''Series/KyleXY'', Latnok apparently installs cameras in places like a diner in the middle of nowhere.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'''s "Others" seem to know the Losties' every move for the first few seasons. This is eventually explained (mostly) by the presence of spies in their camps and cameras all over the island.
* On ''Series/TheMentalist'' this becomes a crucial point during an investigation of a murder in a high school. The school's principal is able to obtain information about events he could not have witnessed and was not told about. It turns out that he secretly installed security cameras in the bathrooms.
* Justified and then averted in ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' where the Machine is fed data from millions of cameras already installed all over the country. It can thus track individual people everywhere in the county and determine if they are pose a threat. However, the Machine was specifically designed to deny its human operators access to its inner workings and thus they cannot just tell the Machine to track a specific person. The Machine outputs a Social Security number of a Person of Interest and the humans have to track that person down through other means.
* Nearly every ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' team from the beginning to the present does have a Magical Security Cam, good guys and bad guys alike able to observe any plot-relevant event no matter where it took place and at angles that make you wonder if they've got an invisible camera crew (though it's not ''always'' footage we've just seen in reality.) In some seasons, surveillance devices were literally magical ([[Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers "Observe the viewing globe!"]]) but in others... apparently, the entire world (and galaxy, in some seasons) is filled with never-seen hovering security cameras for both sides. ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' (the 11th season) makes a mention of a security drone, and ''Series/PowerRangersJungleFury'' (season 16) mentioned a citywide surveillance system - the show's first (and to date, only) attempts to [[JustifiedTrope justify]] this.
** Played with in ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'': the city is rigged with sensors like the ones in ''Ninja Storm'' and ''Jungle Fury'' allegedly are, but not cameras - the alarms are accompanied by maps showing the monster's location but no video feed of the monster itself. This often leaves them unprepared for the monster's attack - most teams get to witness the monster's means of tormenting the populace before facing it themselves, but this one doesn't.
** In ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'', the periscope of Divatox's sub can appear from any body of water... even a glass of water on a table across the room from the Rangers. It resizes to match, being bigger when it's in a lake than when it's in a coffee cup.
** In ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', Rita and Zedd have their telescope and visor respectively, and both are XRayVision capable... but you'd expect them to only be able to look from above. They get impossible camera angles with those things!
** ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaSteel'' lets us know how the ''villains'' do it - the Rangers' battles are being broadcast galaxy-wide as DeadlyGames, and the "Galaxy Warriors" show has 'buzzcams' that can fly anywhere to film the action, insect-sized so as to avoid being easily detected. As for the Rangers, we've got a magic viewing globe-like device again (in the form of the MacGuffin that gave them their powers) and ''no'' Zordon to give explanations: they often don't understand what the Ninja Nexus Prism is showing them or why.
* In ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'', it seems that "A" knows what each of the protagonists is doing almost all of the time. "A" uses this to intimidate, threaten and blackmail them.
* {{Lampshaded}} in the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode, "The Menagerie", when Spock shows footage from his days with Capt. Pike (using footage from "The Cage") and when it gets so detailed, Kirk objects, noting that no security footage could be like that. It turns out it is images sent from the [[MasterOfIllusion Masters of Illusion]] from Talos IV instead.

* This is OlderThanPrint with Norse myth:
** Odin is said to possess a high seat called "Hlidskjalf" which enables him (and anyone else who sits on it, at least if they are gods) to see everything that occurs in the nine worlds. However, to his defense, Odin is the master of all the gods. Which is a pretty good defense, don't you think?
** Plus, Odin has his two ravens, Hugin ("Thought") and Munin ("Memory") who fly out at dawn each day from Odin's hall across the three worlds and upon their return whisper in his ears the news of everything they've seen.

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons, Fourth Edition'': The cover illustration of the fourth edition ''Dungeon Masters Guide'' is a dragon spying on adventurers (from the cover of the ''Player's Handbook'') via a crystal ball in Palantir Ploy fashion.
* This is a mainstay of ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. In just about any campaign, ever-present surveillance cameras are a staple of Alpha Complex. However, between poor maintenance, collateral damage, sabotage by Secret Societies, sabotage by High Programmers, sabotage by Commie Mutant Traitor scum, and random acts of Friend Computer, no one knows just who is watching what and where.
* In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'', this is a favourite tactic of the [[AncientConspiracy Seers of the Throne]]: they build libraries of people's stray hairs and personal effects as SympatheticMagic foci for scrying spells, create ghostly servant "Grigori" to observe and trace the Fate lines of people's acquaintances and relationships, form pacts with spirits that can stalk targets unseen, and so on.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol'', you can buy maps of all of the various locations from a surveillance company, even those of extremely secure facilities. Including those which your highly powerful government agency can't get accurate data for.
* The Combine of ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''. It makes more sense than most though, as they they've conquered the entire planet.
* A character limit caused this to apparently happen in the English versions of the first two generations of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' ''from a kind, loving mentor''. Whenever you tried to use an item improperly, the game would all of a sudden have Professor Oak speak to you, saying that this isn't the correct time to use that. ''Magazine/NintendoPower'' explained that Oak had set up a complex series of cameras across Kanto and Johto expressly for this purpose. By the time the games moved to a 32-bit system, there was more room for text, and thus they could explain that it was simply the character imagining what his mentor would say in that situation.
* In the first ''VideoGame/{{Rayman}}'' game, [[MeaningfulName Mr. Dark]] spends most the game spying on the eponymous hero. Doesn't matter if Rayman's inside a cave or atop a mountain; Mr. Dark is always watching from that hill.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'':
** Combines this with one of the most brilliant aversions of GameplayAndStorySegregation to date when we find out that the bad guys had been tracking our heroes through [[spoiler:the SavePoint network]].
** Which was done again in ''VideoGame/ChronoCross''. The [[spoiler:save points]] also acted as [[spoiler:subtle mind-control devices for FATE]].
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''
** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' the [[VillainTeamUp Council of Disney villains]] lead by Maleficent is shown viewing Sora's actions in some of the cutscenes.
** In the climax of Sora's story in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance'', it is revealed that [[spoiler:the Recusant's Sigil - you know, that nondescript unimportant ''X'' right on his shirt? - was being used as a tracker making sure he was kept in place during his time in the Sleeping Worlds.]]
** ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories Chain of Memories]]'' had Axel, Larxene, Marluxia, and Naminé watching Sora's every move from that one room, through a crystal ball. [[spoiler:Downstairs, Zexion, Lexaeus, and Vexen were doing the same thing to Riku, though Vexen switches to upstairs once the Riku Replica is finished.]] Justified, considering that the entire game takes place in one castle.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/MegaManX2'', replete with villains in [[SinisterSilhouettes the shadows]]. They exchange [[CrypticConversation words]] about their master, but [[spoiler:anyone who's even a little well versed in the series' trend of recurring final bosses already knows this "master" is [[BigBad Sigma]].]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* On ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'':
** The Cheat Commandos Thanksgiving episode featured a scene where hero Gunhaver was spying on evil Blue Laser's Thanksgiving dinner on the "main screen." In the words of the Blue Laser commander, "I'm not thankful for that guy with the camera!"
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in "Best Caper Ever". Strong Bad and The Cheat have satellite video feed of Homestar stranded at the Arctic Ocean, but they have no idea how they even got said feed.
* According to ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'', Seto Kaiba has cameras all over Tokyo to stay aware of his enemy's every move. He is adamant that this includes shower rooms.
* A more low-key example, WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick surreptitiously sets up cameras in her BFF Nella's parents' house. On the other side of the country. In Nella's bedroom. Without Nella's knowledge or consent. Repeatedly. Poked fun at, in that Nella is every bit as indignant about this as you'd expect.
* Somewhat averted at ''[[Literature/WhateleyUniverse Whateley Academy]]'', where no one party (even Security) can claim to even come close to knowing everything that goes on on campus. On the other, at a school full of espers, wizards, gadgeteers, devisors, people who can talk to animals or computers, and not to forget good old-fashioned cameras and eyewitnesses it's kind of hard for anything to go ''completely'' unnoticed.
** The issues of surveillance, both by security and by other students, crops up often, most importantly in "The Riddle of Sappho" where an attempt to frame Pejuta by using the school's ID system against her backfires - due to the killers using a hidden camera to further blackmail her into silence about her alibi, but not securing the transmission well enough to prevent an unrelated student from hacking it.
** In "Diamonds are a Vamp's Best Friend", the Spy Kidz eventually push their own compulsive electronic monitoring of the Bad Seeds and others (including teachers) too far, and nearly lose their club's standing because of it.
* Lex Luthor in ''[[WebVideo/ImAMarvelAndImADC The Randomverse]]''. Lampshaded by Stark and Osborn.
-->'''Stark''': How many cameras do you ''have''?\\
'''Osborn''': What, did you ''buy out'' Google Earth?
* Sursum Ursa from ''WebVideo/StuffYouLike'' seems to have cameras in the houses of [[WebVideo/{{Welshy}} many]] [[WebVideo/CheapArseFilmReview of]] [[Website/TheAgonyBooth her]] fellow reviewers.
--> '''[[WebVideo/CheapArseFilmReview Cheapus]]''': …did you break into my house?

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/HolidayWars'', The Bunny teams up with The Forgotten which allows him to keep track of the story's protagonist. You can [[http://www.holiday-wars.com/blog/2011/05/20/episode-167/ check it out here]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** Xykon makes heavy use of his crystal ball. It features picture-in-picture (for viewing multiple groups of heroes at once), widescreen, and a "[[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0415.html TeeVo]]" to record actions the heroes take while he's busy with something else.
** The Three Fiends also have a TV that lets them watch whatever they're interested in, complete with a mode to see invisible things.
* The non-{{canon}} spy spoof arc of ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' shows [[http://missmab.com/Comics/Vol_455.php some increasingly-improbable surveillance]], then {{lampshade|Hanging}}s it in [[http://missmab.com/Comics/Vol_456.php this strip]].
* In ''Webcomic/RPGWorld'', Galgarion has his Magic Mirror, with Tee Vo.
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'' has Satan's "Drone Cams" apparently see everything and [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2010-12-05 collect data for soul audits]]. Except they fail half of the time. Not resistant [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2011-10-01 even to bedeviling]], so upon annoying a [[HotBlooded Fire Succubus]] become <[[KamehameHadoken Bomf!]]> -skeet. And the Zombie Guy simply [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-02-12 punched one out]]. And pestering Buddha got these things "[[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-03-14 enlightened]]" by him. Once self-aware, they turned Big D's [[OminousMultipleScreens wall of screens]] into [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-03-16 non-stop]] nature [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-03-28 show]] and became afraid of his employees.
--> '''Cambug''': Emotional state: Irritable, hostile.
--> '''Cambug''': Abilities: Fireball, pitchfork.
--> '''Cambug''': Conclusion: AVOID.
** After enough of this hilarity, Deviltech[[superscript:TM]] developed [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2012-06-25 another version]], but it's really lame.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in a ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'' episode, when Mojo Jojo steals the Anubis head for the second time and replays clips from the last episode of the effects of the head's magic in countries around the globe.
-->'''Blossom''': Hey, who filmed this, anyway? What, do you have cameras all over the world?
-->'''Mojo Jojo''': Yes! Now shut up!
* Plasmius by Season 3 of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' has taken to using [[LiteralSurveillanceBug numerous, tiny, bug-shaped]], ''Franchise/SpiderMan''-esque cameras. [[IncrediblyObviousBug But not that tiny]].
* Dr. Claw in ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' has cameras everywhere. Apparently his minions carry them around everywhere, but sometimes they pop up in weird places, like ancient pyramids, the police stations, and Gadget's ''own house!''
* Comicbook/LexLuthor:
** ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends''. He had cameras everywhere, including Earth orbit...and near the Earth's ''core''.
** And as Creator/{{Seanbaby}} pointed out, they could have used blackmail to take over the world several times over by now... except it's the ''Superfriends'', the show where everyone, hero or villain ''or the show's writers'', is TooDumbToLive.
* On ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'':
** The BigBad Aku has a crystal ball that allows him to see whatever Jack is doing. Why he doesn't try more often to send his flunkies right to Jack is anyone's guess.
** It has been demonstrated at least once that it can be "jammed", causing it to display only static (Aku treats it like a faulty TV, but [[PercussiveMaintenance hitting it]] doesn't help much). Also, it probably does a great job of ''tracking'' people once the user has found them, but might not be so hot at actually finding them in the first place.
** Still, even if Jack keeps winning, you'd think he would just send [[ZergRush staggered waves]] of weak or competent enemies to tire and infuriate Jack before he delivers a finishing blow. At least part of this plan has actually happened in series.
** He has space-capabilities as well, if he knows where Jack is, how about an orbital weapon? Or just a ColonyDrop (not like that kind of collateral damage is OoC for Aku, the living embodiment of darkness and evil).
** During the comics Aku checked in on Jack frequently, and within hours of Jack's magic sword being broken saw this and sent minions. "Time passes" though and Jack's seen disguised, with Aku's minions searching again and Aku himself waiting for word. These are not in continuity with Season Five, where Jack's sword is gone and Aku has no idea, apparently having long given up on watching him.
* WOOHP, the HeroesRUs of ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'' can not only record ''everything'' everywhere in the world but can find and summon the girls from ''anywhere'': at school, at the mall, [[TimeTravel in the Middle Ages]], even from their bedroom or [[FetishFuel from in the shower]]!
* Played with in the Season 3 première of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'':
-->'''The Monarch:''' Yeah, yeah, roll the clip...
-->'''[[TheOmniscientCouncilOfVagueness Councilman]] 1:''' Unfortunately, we have no visual records of your time in college.
-->'''The Monarch:''' ...Really? So we're not going to have to sit through hours of [[ADateWithRosiePalms me abusing myself]] to [[Series/NightCourt Markie Post]]?
-->'''Councilman 2:''' Of course not! How could we have video of you from that long ago? That's crazy!
-->'''Councilman 3:''' We're the Council of Thirteen, not magic angel babies.
-->'''Councilman 2:''' We don't have like a... magic window into the past-
-->'''The Monarch:''' Okay, okay, I get it.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'': He-Man's nemesis Skeletor had (at least in the Ladybird books) a 'mystic viewscreen' which let him see absolutely anywhere, including inside Castle Grayskull. When you can watch the heroes' every movement and still lose every time, you're obviously doing something wrong.
** In [[WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse2002 the 2002 remake]], Tri-Klops uses a series of small floating ConspicuousCG devices to spy on everyone. The heroes completely fail to notice them flying around their palace... most of the time. There are at least two cases of animals chasing them, and a minor villain finds one and uses it as an excuse to get inside Skeletor's base.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': This is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d when Kim points out the obvious security risks of the bad guy having a direct video link into the hero's base. Somehow, [[GenreBlindness the heroes fail to see any problem with this]]. Aside from Kim and [[FaceHeelTurn Shego]], who exasperatedly comments that [[TooDumbToLive such idiocy]] is the reason the DarkActionGirl left.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' [[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 Generation 1]]:
** It is ''crawling'' with hidden cameras, from both the Decepticons ''and'' the Autobots. Oddly enough, even when they're supposedly connecting with the 'visual sensors' of another bot, there's always some sort of angled camera view instead.
** Megatron has one of those [[spoiler:when he's dismembered]] during the first few episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''.
** In a case of the good guys using this, in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersRescueBots'' the Rescue Team has cameras all over town.
* Mumm-Ra from ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'' does this. Only partially justified, based on how much you want to believe that he really is confined to his pyramid in any given episode. Lion-O's Sword Of Omens can do this too.
* Shredder was a huge offender of this trope in the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 '80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' cartoons.
* Dr. Wily in the ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan'' cartoon had what some fans call the 'Anywhere Screen', letting him see live feed of just about anywhere.
* In the "Abducted" episode of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'':
** The duo of aliens that abducted Zim somehow have recorded video of Zim lying about being human, made even more implausible in this case since these aliens are so stupid that it'd be a stretch to think they'd even know how to use a camera.
** [[WildMassGuessing Maybe]] they somehow hacked into the one Ms. Bitters used to record Zim saying he would attend Parent-Teacher Night. In that case, Zim {{lampshade|Hanging}}s:
-->'''Zim:''' Why would you record that...?
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' is ([[ShowWithinAShow in-universe]]) a reality show. Okay. But some of the things that Chris and Chef manage to record is just ridiculous--like, for example, ''Owen's dreams.'' And how did they pull off the TDWT penultimate episode? Did they put cameras all along the pathway between Alberta and Tijuana, despite not even having planned that challenge before Sierra blew up the plane?
* The ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' ClipShow claims that most of the clips shown were things [[LoonyFan Irving]] had recorded over the summer. Some of these clips were from en episode that was AllJustADream [[DreamWithinADream Within A Dream]].
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Lucius seems to be able to pull up anything going on in Miseryville on his big screen. This is probably a side effect of his RealityWarper powers.
* The Gamesmaster from the ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'' episode of the same name takes this UpToEleven. His screens showed the inside of Cobra's base, ''Lady Jaye changing her clothes'', and the Baroness ''taking a bath''. Serious ParanoiaFuel.
* Robot Santa in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' has a screen where he spies on people being naughty. (Which, due to a glitch in his programming, is ''everyone''). "Don't you ever knock? Who knows what naughty things I could be watching? I get New Orleans on this thing, you know!"
** Except Dr. Zoidberg, the only person Robot Santa regards as "nice".
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': In "Magical Mystery Cure", princess Celestia reveals that she's been watching Twilight Sparkle since the very beginning. On several magic screens suspended in a supernatural void. Which not only show her adventures in Ponyville, but also scenes from her childhood and ''one of her imagine spots''. Feel free to worry about the implications of Celestia monitoring her student's thoughts.
** It did save the day in one episode where Twilight went nuts from stress and managed to drag the whole town down with her using magic. Given that the first thing Celestia saw her do was lose control of her powers and nearly destroy the capital, surveillance is probably warranted.
** Her surveillance doesn't end there. In "Twilight's Kingdom", when Tirek attacks a random pony, both Celestia and Luna experience it as a vision.
* The Duke's [[CrystalBall Viewing Stone]] provides this in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gawayn}}''.
* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/MoonbeamCity'' when Rad confesses to a scam on TV:
--> '''Rad (as he's blubbering like a child):''' I tried to stop the punks....but I got scared and I ran away...and tripped on the rack of sunglasses and all the sunglasses fell on me. I got up and ran into the street, but I couldn't see, so I fell down an open manhole. HOW IS THERE FOOTAGE OF ''THIS'' PART?!\\
'''Vex:''' Sewer-cam.